Blogs, e-commerce and corporate sites must meet the requirements imposed by “his majesty” SEO. Otherwise, you can say goodbye to positioning in the first posts of the Google SERP and general search engines and to online visibility, which is the source from which activities on the web draw their lifeblood. SEO is a vast world, practically without borders, and there are many aspects to evaluate and consider with the utmost attention.
In this article, I’ll explain how to optimize SEO image, a fundamental practice often mistakenly ignored. Before understanding how to optimize the performance of a site’s images, it is undoubtedly worth dwelling for a moment on the concept of image that has taken on a fundamental role today.
The Importance Of Images
When you build your site, you have to consider all the visual parts, which are essential to make the user understand a concept, the characteristics of your products, or to argue what you want to say concretely. Well, your efforts will likely be in vain without adequate SEO optimization of a site. Do you think it is excessive? Then perhaps you are not very clear on the importance of images, especially in the web world.
The image is worth a thousand words, and a user may decide to click or not on the photo of a post, a blog or an eCommerce depending on its appeal. After all, the average user immediately gets to the point: he prefers to look at a photo rather than read an introduction to save as many seconds as possible. If that photo catches his eye, chances are he’ll click on it; otherwise, it will flow and go elsewhere, making all your efforts useless. That is why optimizing images in an SEO key is essential; in the following paragraphs, I will explain how to do it.
SEO Optimization Of Images: The Four Fundamental Steps
Image optimization takes only a few seconds, and the operations are not particularly complicated. Here’s what they are:
- Rename the file;
- Enter the alt text;
- Enter the title of the image;
- Choose the best image quality, size and format.
Rename The File
To rename the SEO images, the first thing to do is to enter the description of the file, using keywords without articles to be separated with the symbol “-“, the classic dash. If the photo depicts a dog bowl, enter “dog bowl” as the file description. Special characters, accented letters or other graphic symbols should also be avoided. Instead, focus on what the photo depicts and describe it directly without too many additions.
Enter The Alt Text
The second step, the most critical step, is optimizing the alt attribute of the SEO image, that is, the alt text, which represents the alternative text and helps Google robots crawl your site. Google robots cannot “read” the images, and, to understand what their content is and what they represent, they can precisely view the alt text. You have to insert a descriptive text containing the main keywords proper to identify the image. But be careful not to overdo it.
Otherwise, excessive keywords and information would confuse the Google robots, who would struggle to decrypt the file’s contents. Alt-text is also very useful not only for Google indexing but also helpful for visually impaired people. In the case of internet access, these people can understand the image content through alt text.
Enter The Title Of The Images
It is advisable to enter the image title for image SEO on Hubspot CMS or any other platform. This operation is not a priority as indicated so far, at least not as much as the alternative text. Still, it provides more information to the user, who can better describe the images and obtain additional information. When the visitor scrolls with the mouse, the title of the image appears, which describes exactly what that photo contains and gives an indication of what he can find by opening that article or that product sheet.
Choose The Best Image Quality, Size And Format
In optimizing images, you have to pay attention to the quality, which reflects the site’s reliability. A grainy or hardly visible photo will give an idea of approximation and superficiality; on the contrary, a clear photo will increase the appeal and authority of the site. The photos must therefore be of good quality but, at the same time, not be excessively heavy. The content loading speed is one of the ranking factors of the leading search engines. For example, you could choose an aesthetically perfect photo of excellent quality but with excessive weight that risks slowing down your site. Do you know the average wait time for a user’s page to load?
Three seconds. If your page takes more than three seconds to load fully, you will almost certainly lose the visitor. From a user experience perspective, this is precisely why search engines penalize sites with slow loading. Quality is essential, but the photo does not necessarily have to be perfect. Find the right balance between the weight of the photo and aesthetic rendering so that the image is of good quality but not too heavy. Finally, choose the format carefully. Generally, the most used is the JPG which, in addition to being relatively light, is compatible with 99% of devices. Alternatively, there is the PNG, of good quality but slightly heavier.
Why Is It Essential To Optimize Photos For SEO?
We analyze specifically how images can impact Google and how they affect your website’s or eCommerce’s performance. The spiders of Google and search engines, in general, have been designed to read HTML texts but not to decrypt photos. Image optimization aims to provide Google with specific information about your content, a sort of “beacon” that allows spiders to identify you and then index you in the SERP.
As already specified, heavy images slow down the site and, in addition to driving away visitors and potential customers, penalize the user experience, negatively impacting the SEO. A heavy site will be unappealing to both Google and visitors and result in a high bounce rate. This means that once users land on your site, they will leave immediately. One thing that Google doesn’t like at all is that it penalizes your site.
In this sense, Hubspot helps by providing you with all the possible tools to optimize SEO by giving you reports and best practices to follow to improve the ranking of your content on search engines. All this is because your ultimate goal is to get as many visitors as possible to your site and then convert them into leads, store them in a CRM and then apply to nurture campaigns and bring them to the purchase of your products or to any goal you set for yourself.
How To Optimize The Images Of An E-Commerce
Image optimization from an SEO perspective is essential for any business, but for e-commerce, it can even be considered vital. Reducing page loading time, especially in e-commerce, dramatically improves the user experience of potential customers and, consequently, increases sales. E-commerce should be understood as an online store where people like to browse the various departments to search and find the product that best suits their needs. The passage from one page to another, or from one product sheet to another, must be very fast to increase the conversion rate.
Having optimized and lighter images, in addition to improving your positioning on Google, also frees up more space in your hosting. Therefore, a fast and responsive site is the starting point for creating quality e-commerce. As already specified in the article, it is essential to complete the title of the image not only and not so much for an SEO issue, but above all, to facilitate user navigation. By scrolling with the mouse over a product, the user can quickly learn new notions and be more encouraged to click on them.
Extra Tips For Image Optimization
To conclude, here is a series of valuable tips, to be combined with the “best practices” indicated so far, to optimize the images of your site or your e-commerce:
- Create a sitemap, an effective practice, especially if you have many photos on your site and intend to order them. An image sitemap provides Google with even more details about the uploaded content without any restrictions;
- Add structured data to images so, in addition to giving even more information to Google, you can more easily intercept the target audience with your online shop. Google Images can display prominent badges near your photos, such as videos, products or recipes;
- Use CDNs (Content Delivery Networks) as much as possible to avoid overloading the site with negative repercussions in terms of SEO.
We are at the final greetings, and we can conclude that optimizing images from an SEO perspective improves the site’s speed, making it much more fluid and usable, and guarantees excellent positioning in search engines.